Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin on October 12, 2006 · 59
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Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin · 59

Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 12, 2006
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MUSIC 11 The Capital Times 1 Wisconsin State Journal r www.madisori.com I Thursday.'October 12, 2006 Versatile Regina Spektor floats among her song stories "Fidelity" to the hip-hop flavor of "Hotel Song" to the sweeping Brechtian piano of "20 Years of Snow" to die lean guitar rock of "That Time." It's that kind of chameleon-like versatility, along with the way Spektor seems to throw herself body, soul and voice into her story-songs, that has made her such a rising star. After opening for the Strokes on their 2003 tour, she's now supporting "Begin to Hope" with her own national headlining tour with her own three-piece band. Spektor will play the Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $16.50 in advance ($18.50 at the door) for general admission tickets, $24 for VIP reserved seats, and are available through Ticketmaster oudets, by phone at 255-4646, or online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.frankproductions.com. Only Son will open the all-ages show. The idea of her own full tour is new enough to Spektor that she still marvels at her new tour bus ("It has 'Star Trek' doors!") But BY ROB THOMAS When she was younger, Regina Spektor worked on a farm in Wisconsin. But this being Spektor, one of the most unorthodox and magical singer-songwriters of her generation, it was no ordinary , farm. Speaking from her brand-new tour bus, Spektor says she once spent a summer in Luck, Wis., on a butterfly farm, which raised the insects to send them to botanical gardens. "It was really, really fun, exacdy what it sounds like,' she says. "Running through a field with nets chasing butterflies. You got paid 10 bucks an hour." The image of a younger Spektor chasing after tiny, beautiful, elusive creatures serves as an apt metaphor for the grown-up Spek-tor's musical career. At 26, the Moscow-born, classically trained musician claims she has written some 700 songs, snaring all kinds of musical styles and influences in her songwriting net. On the new album, "Begin to Hope," she flits from the delicate chamber pop of looking at a painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of a dinner table scene, saying Is that true? Did that really happen?' But with music, people do." Spektor has an amazingly expressive voice that she uses to inhabit the personas in her song, and says playing live allows her to express her character even more. "An actor will feel how their character walks, and they'll have that walk," she says. "Sometimes you can project an attitude in your voice, or your face. In the live shows, it's kind of interesting, because you do get to be a stage persona. You could use other aspects of yourself to act a song as well as sing it." Spektor's family her father a photographer and amateur violinist, her mother a music professor moved from Moscow to New York when she was 9 years old, during the perestroika period when Russian Jews could emigrate. When she's not working on her music, she says that she's not averse to dipping into pop culture now and then. Spektor compares things like reality TV to junk food; you crave it every once in a while, but consuming too much can make you a litde queasy, "As soon as I eat it three days in a row, I'm like, 'Oh, I don't feel so good,' " she says, laughing. "You turn on the bus TV and you watch 20 minutes of 'Project Runway" and you're like 'Ooh, I want out. I want to look out the window now.' " them, it feels true. It feels right. When I just play it by myself now, I end up missing them a lot." As a solo artist, Spektor could just live in the moment on stage and play whichever songs struck her fancy. As part of a band, she has to stick to a pre-arranged set list, but says the joy she gets in playing as part of a group makes that an easy trade. "It gives me a tremendous amount of happiness," she says. "I've always had happiness playing on stage, but I've never had that kind of happiness that only happens when you're on stage playing with other people. It's a very particular kind of happiness, when sound is happening all around you and you're just part of it." Spektor's songs are full of memorable lines and pungent details; "That Time" opens with the line "Hey, remember that time when I found a human tooth down on Delancey?" while the narrator of "On the Radio" commandeers a hearse, and muses on the guitar solo in Guns V Roses' "November Rain." She says she's always been attracted to the idea of writing songs that are like short stories rather than diary entries, and that listeners shouldn't get hung up on what's true and what's fiction. "Are movies and plays and novels not true?" she asks. "Somewhere along the way, music especially in the singer-songwriter realm got relegated to personal experience. No one's sitting and Onetime butterfly wrangler Regina Spektor will perform at the Majestic Theatre Tuesday. she says she's especially excited to perform with a full band. Spektor made her name in New York City's "anti-folk" scene, playing solo on piano in East Village clubs, and said she had to get used to the idea of having other musicians on stage playing with her. "I was so used to just playing everything myself," she says. "Now that I have played with CHARCOAL M? STEAKS THURSDAY SPECIALS Prime Rib 10 oz. ... $9.50 Prime Rib M4.75 8 oz. Tenderloin ... 5 11.00 12 oz. Top Sirloin.$12.50 12 oz. NY Strip..... '12.50 16 oz. Rib Steak. 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